You know there’s no such thing as the Edinburgh Festival, don’t you?
If you dispute the ‘no such thing’ – having just emerged from this summer’s many and varied events (and already looking forward to next year), then David Pollock’s new book, The Edinburgh Festival: A Biography, is for you.
This year has been the 75th anniversary year of the Edinburgh International Festival and Festival Fringe, an occasion commemorated by arts and culture writer, Pollock – a reviewer of more than a thousand festival shows – who dives into the history and behind-the-scenes of the city’s many summer festivals that each maintain their own identities, while ‘The Festival’ has stuck as a shorthand which captures the truly eclectic experience of ‘doing Edinburgh’.
The book explores the history of the city’s festival season, examining the role of the different festivals have played in shaping the careers of stars and artists, and the landscape of Edinburgh:
“When we speak of the birth of the Edinburgh Festival, we celebrate the arrival of twins. One is barely older, more confident and self-assured, at ease with the role it’s been handed alongside international peers at the very highest level. The other is younger, but essentially the same age; wildly creative, but often without its sibling’s patience for creating a glossy finish. This twin rejects a sense of established order, but fights for attention however it can.”
This book is the first complete history of the Edinburgh Festival: the growth, glory years and struggles, and through it, Pollock introduces a wide cast of key individuals and shows, including Fleabag, Peter Cook and Dudley Moore, Billy Connolly, Emma Thompson, Stephen Fry, Joseph Beuys, The Fall and Six The Musical.
The Edinburgh Festival: A Biography by David Pollock [ISBN 978-1-80425-012-9]